A winemaker with a more than unique history and story. The small village of Tesselaarsdal in the Overberg, 24km north-east of the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley is named after East India Company settler Johannes Tesselar. On his death in 1810, he bestowed the land to his freed slaves and owner/winemaker Berene herself is a descendant on one of those very slaves. If you look closely at the label, you can make out two people walking across the mountain. This is Berene and her grandmother. Berene has in fact worked at Hamilton Russell for the last 16 years, having started as an au pair, before moving in to the admin office and then becoming fascinated by the winemaking process. With the support of her winemaker Emul Ross, Berene now tends a few rows of vines at La Vierge, producing her wine at the Hamilton Russell cellar. Extreme care is taken to ensure this tiny-production, classically styled Pinot expresses the personality of the cool, maritime ridge and it’s stony, iron-rich soils.